In the last two weeks, Muslim Hands published a collection entitled '40 Ahadith about the Virtues of Yemen and its People' and began promoting #IamYemeni on social media. We would like to share with you the story behind the hashtag and why we collected these ahadith together.
Yemen in our History:
Although many of us are aware of the significance of lands like Palestine and Syria in Islamic history, and the status they held in the eyes of the Prophet (saw), few of us know that Yemen also has historical importance.
The roots of the Arabs trace themselves back to Yemen. The tribe of Jurhum, a pure Arab tribe from Yemen, are the ones who settled in Makkah. The Prophet Isma’il married two women from them and learnt Arabic, archery and horse riding from them. Eventually, the Quraysh descended from them, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Even the Ansar of Madinah were originally from the Yemeni tribe of al-Azd, which travelled north following the flood of al-‘Arim (34:16) in Yemen.
The fact that the Prophet (saw) himself descended from Yemen makes it a land of unique historical and Islamic importance – something that Prophet (saw) mentioned in many of the ahadith we’ve collected.
Yemen in the Qur'an:
Yemen is also mentioned several times in the Noble Qur’an, for example in Surah Hud, Surah Saba’ and Surah Naml. Allah (swt) refers to Yemen as a blessed and good land that has a Forgiving Lord (34:15). The Qur'an refers to Yemen at different points in history, such as at the time of Hud (as), the time of Sulaiman (as), and the time of Muhammad (saw). Allah (swt) also describes the people of Yemen as “…a people He loves, and they love Him…” (Qur’an, 5:54).
At every turn, we are asked to reflect upon this beautiful land and its noble people - the status of the people of Yemen in the eyes of Allah (swt) should be widely known.
Yemen and the Prophet (saw):
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, ‘The best of men are the men of Yemen, belief is Yemeni and I am Yemeni…’ [Ahmad].
The Prophet (saw) loved his Ummah, including the people among them whom he never met – he repeatedly mentioned them to his Companions and his du’as. However, the people of Yemen are particularly dear to the heart of the Prophet (saw). Time and again, he not only praises them as obedient, sensitive and virtuous, he also expresses an extraordinary love for them, even linking his own bloodline with them. The support and devotion they gave him were precious to him, and he uses powerful language to describe his connection to them, as shown in this hadith:
On that Day, what will we say to the Prophet (saw) if we did nothing to end the suffering of his people? It is our responsibility to stand by them in their time of need, to make sure that the people he (saw) loved are provided with food, water and healthcare. Moreover, it is our duty to share this message with others, to raise awareness about the status of Yemen’s people in Islam and the hardships they are facing.
There are so many people suffering in Yemen right now, and it is difficult to imagine the extent of their pain when we are confronted with statistics in the millions. However, it is important to remember that behind every number is a Yemeni person –a Yemeni whom we can help in their time of need.
Yemen can’t wait. I am Yemeni, and so are you. We must act now.